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Planning first trip to Germany, looking for any recommendations!!!

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I have to admit, I'm a bit intimidated to post here because I've seen novice European travelers eaten alive by responses to their posts:)

So, I'll just start with, yes I've done research, lots of online research. No, I have not bought a book. I have physical maps, and I've looked at online maps, I've googled driving distances, I've converted miles to kilometers, I've found the conversion calculators for money. I have pages and pages of information I've printed off of internet searches and so many hand written notes that I get confused by my pages and pages of notes...all for a trip that we will be taking one year from now.

So, for those of you out there like me who love to travel & don't mind helping out a European traveling novice, I would greatly appreciate your suggestions!

My husband and I love to travel, but for the most part we travel in the US, Mexico and of late our most memorable trip was a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands, which, I might add to anyone thinking of planning a vacation, the BVIs was quite possibly the most fabulous vacation we've ever been on.

We are late 30s/early40s, very active, appreciate history, want to have fun, meet people, and of course drink some German beer:)

So, my question is, for all of you well traveled people...if you had never been to Europe, and you found yourself near Berlin...and at the end of your trip, you had 4 nights/5days to do a self guided road trip via car, where would you go? What would the highlights be? (On the 5th day we will need to end up north near Kiel, but we have plenty of time to drive to Kiel on that 5th day)

I've looked at the Romantic Road through Bavaria as well as many other options, but I know this will be our once in a lifetime trip to Germany...so I just thought I'd throw the question out there.

Thank you in advance for your advice!

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